Author Archives: Guest Contributors

MANITOBA Delivers With GN’R at Roseland [Update: Now With Photos!]

Photos by Adam Gerstein

Doing this on four hours sleep and a massive hangover. Seriously, MANITOBA played their hearts out. They knew the importance of this gig (let’s face it — you are talking about 4,000 people) and they looked thrilled to be opening up for Guns N’ Roses.
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4 Down, 1 To Go!!

(Manitoba, Where You At?)

It all started with a post on The DFFD Blog about Top Ten and the Del Lords doing a “secret” gig at the Lakeside Lounge in NYC, as a warm up to their Spanish shows. Actually, no, it all started when my ex-boyfriend’s band did a co-headlining gig with RTB’s German band in Brooklyn in 2009 … but that’s a story for another day. I had already met 3 current Dictators (the aforementioned RTB, JP Patterson, and Andy Shernoff) and had only two to go. This was my chance to hopefully cross at least one more off my list!! Since I had already friended Scott on Facebook, I sent him a short note asking if the secret gig was still on, and explained that we had a mutual friend so he wouldn’t think I was a stalker. He was kind enough to write back a few hours later to confirm.

Flash forward to 7 o’clock that night, a friend and I are sitting at the bar when, in hushed tones, a gentleman to my right asked the bartender how things were going to work for the gig tonight, as the bar’s website mentioned a $20 “donation.” This sparked a conversation about how we were both huge Dictators fans and were psyched to see one of them in such an intimate venue.  He had heard about the gig the same place I had, through Salvi and The DFFD Blog. A few more people trickled in, and we made our way over to the stage area in the back of the bar. My friend and I snagged primo seats, and as I was settling in, I looked over and there was Scott Kempner and his guitar, setting up. I quickly introduced myself to him, we shared an inside joke about someone’s extreme and baffling political views, and I let him mingle with his friends and family.

As I was patting myself on the back for appearing so calm and collected, I spotted a familiar looming figure. It was Andy Shernoff shaking hands with the crowd. Apparently the people at the next table from us were who he was there to meet, and the next thing I knew he was sitting next to me, and he remembered me. More back patting ensued. Andy’s friend introduced himself to me as one of his oldest friends, back from the days of New Paltz and the Teenage Wasteland fanzine, Bobby “the Brain.” He told me how they used to print the fanzine by hand on mimeograph paper. I was truly in awe of being surrounded by Dictators history.

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‘The Best Live Band on That Given Day in the World’

April 12 marked the anniversary of 1997’s star-studded Tom Clark Benefit at Brownie’s in NYC. The DFFD Blog asked Dictators fan Adam Gerstein for his memories of the show.

So I get an email from Sal, who I have not heard from lately, asking me to remember the night that the Dictators played at the Tom Clark Benefit at Brownie’s in 1997. How can I forget that night — it was the night I rediscovered the band who probably has been my favorite band of the last 15 years … and that is saying a lot, as I go to a lot of live shows. Below is a review I did after the show for the Babel list (Patti Smith list) in 1997:
 
“Lenny Kaye was the first band that I saw last night. I used to see the Lenny Kaye Connection all over NYC and they were always fun. However, I always appreciated Lenny more of a backing musician with Patti rather than on his own due to the limited range of his voice. He put on an animated set and the interplay between J.D., Tony, and Lenny was great.  

Jim Carroll surprised the hell out of me. I have seen him stumble on many stages since the seventies, but last night he looked fit (hard to imagine) and healthy. Then again he never played with a band as good as the guys last night. In addition to playing with J.D., Lenny, and Tony, he also played with Adam Roth, who added tasty slide leads. “Catholic Boy” and “People Who Died” were the standouts last night and Carroll definitely impressed the crowd.

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‘The Ferocity, Melody & Humor Were Undeniable’

The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!Note: This is one of a series of posts in The DFFD Blog Goes Girl Crazy! special — a monthlong commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!’

So I had tickets to see Blue Oyster Cult with this weird band the Dictators opening in 1977, at the Ocean Ice Palace. The show never happened, but it was because of this show that I became aware of one of the greatest bands I’ve ever heard. The next day, I went to the local record stores and saw Manifest Destiny in one shop, and the first LP in the other store across the street. After looking both over, I chose Manifest Destiny, because of the Metropolis cover. I played it like 20 times in a row, and next day returned for the first LP.

After hearing MD, I was quite shocked by the rawness. This was one of the first really “Punk” records I had ever bought! It took a few listens to adjust to, but the ferocity, melody & humor were undeniable. This LP was like a sledgehammer. Even the liner notes were great & the picture of the band at White Castle was on my wall for years. Even the cover pics kind of made you want to be a rock star, because their rooms looked like mine! And the songs just kept coming, Master Race Rock, incredible stuff. Even the kitschy cover of I Got You Babe was never skipped.

Mike Mindless

Mike Mindless

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A Faith ‘Completely and Utterly Justified’

The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!

Note: This is one of a series of posts in The DFFD Blog Goes Girl Crazy! special — a monthlong commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!’

I guess it was Spring of ’75. My friends and I would take trips to hit up the import racks at Listen Records in Glasgow’s Cambridge Street. Next Big Thing logo Something in the deepest recesses of my mind tells me that I read about The Dictators Go Girl Crazy in Hot Wacks magazine. This was an Edinburgh based maga(fan)zine run by a guy by the name of Bert Muirhead who also had an amazing record store called Ezy Rider. Being a huge BÖC fan and ergo interested in what Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman were up to, it was a natural gravitation thing.

In those days records wore their hearts on their sleeves. Literally. There was no question of this being anything less than a belter. I didn’t even listen to any of it on the cans in the store. Four of us bought a copy each, Jack Seath (RIP) , Bert McMillan, Roy Litts and myself. All it took was a few seconds for our faith to be completely and utterly justified.

Andy and Lindsay

The author, Lindsay Hutton, with Andy Shernoff, at Andy's place in September 1983

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A ‘Record Designed Out of the Pure Love of Rock ’n’ Roll’

The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!Note: This is the first post in The DFFD Blog Goes Girl Crazy! special — a monthlong series commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!’

The following first appeared as a chapter in the second book of Martin Popoff’s Ye Olde Metal series, Ye Olde Metal: 1973 To 1975.

For details on each of the five books thus far — 1968 To 1972, 1973 To 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978 — please see www.martinpopoff.com.

Yes, Manifest Destiny is taken care of in 1977 and Bloodbrothers is written up in 1978.

The Dictators – Go Girl Crazy
(Epic, April ‘75, KE 33348)

Revered by critics, ignored by the industry (except in Spain), The Dictators are New York rock legends that did more for punk rock than people know. It all starts… not back at the first record, Go Girl Crazy! (not the real title, more on that later), but a cupful of years before. I mean, send it back to ’73, and you could slot The Dictators right in there with the Stooges, MC5 and the New York Dolls as four seminal bands that made punk possible.

“You know, this is one of my little pet peeves,” says bassist and chief writer for the band Andy “Adny” Shernoff, making sure we get the naming of the record fixed but quick. “People always say, the Dictators’ first album, Go Girl Crazy!. It wasn’t Go Girl Crazy!; it was The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!, like a movie title. It was supposed to be like a teenage movie or something. That was the concept.”

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